China, Taiwan look to expand cross-strait flights
China will send a delegation to Taiwan this month for talks on expanding the number Chinese tour groups visiting the island, Taiwan radio said on Monday.
Shao Qiwei, director of the China National Tourism Administration, will lead the delegation at the cross-strait tourism conference in Taiwan on February 26, Broadcasting Corp of China said, dpa reported.
Some 500 mainland travel agents and tourism representatives have applied to attend the conference.
Officials plan to expand the daily charter flights - currently 54 round-trip flights by each side's airlines per week - to regular flights in July.
During the Chinese New Year holidays, 509 Chinese tour groups totalling 13,000 tourists arrived in Taiwan on charter flights. They brought the island 850 million Taiwan dollars (25.7 million US) in revenue, the Tourism Bureau said.
Taipei hopes Chinese tourists can boost the island's sluggish tourism industry and its economy, which have been hurt by its international isolation caused by Taiwan's six-decade ban on transport links with China.